Good Tarpon Fly Fishing Action in Sarasota

2015-07-20 17:24:16
Sarasota, Florida - Saltwater Fishing Report
Coastal Gulf of Mexico & Sarasota Bay
Rick Grassett

Anglers fishing with me on my Action Craft flats skiff the Snook Fin-Addict, out of CB's Saltwater Outfitters on Siesta Key, continued to have action fly fishing for tarpon during the past couple of weeks before the wind switched to a westerly pattern and roughed up the coastal gulf waters. We had numerous shots at tarpon over several days, jumped three and caught and released one. We also spent a few days fishing deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay where we had action with trout and bluefish on Clouser flies, fly poppers, CAL jigs with shad tails, DOA Shrimp, DOA Deadly Combos and top water plugs.

Fly anglers had good action Monday through Wednesday, 7/6 through 7/8, getting multiple shots at tarpon most days and several bites. Longtime friend Steve Gibson, from Sarasota, FL, fished with me on Thursday, 7/9. We had shots at tarpon with a fly throughout the day, but it was late in the day at the bottom of the tide when they got hungry. We had several bites, jumped 2 and landed 1 tarpon on my Grassett Flats Bunny fly. After a smoking run and a couple of jumps, a knot in the fly line close to the fish caused the fly line to break on one fish. The other tarpon gave us a few jumps and then slugged it out before Steve brought the fish to the boat. Good day!

Jerry Poslusny and Jay Peck, both from Rochester, NY, fished with me on Monday and Tuesday, 7/13 &14. We fly fished for tarpon in the coastal gulf on Monday and after a long wait, we got numerous shots and Jay hooked up on my Grassett Flats Bunny fly. He fought the fish for numerous jumps and had the fish close to the boat before it chewed through the 80-pound bite tippet. West wind cranked up on Tuesday making the coastal gulf too rough to tarpon fish, so we shifted gears and fished Sarasota Bay. They had steady action with trout to 18", bluefish, ladyfish and a nice jack on CAL jigs with shad tails and Ultra Hair Clouser flies fished on sink tip fly lines on deep grass flats of north Sarasota Bay.

My brother Kirk Grassett, from Middletown, DE, visited for a few days later in the week. The plan was to tarpon fish, but with a west wind pattern we were unable to fish the coastal gulf so we fished deep grass flats in north Sarasota Bay a couple of days. Longtime friend Rusty Chinnis, from Longboat Key, FL, fished with us on Thursday, 7/16 and we had steady action with trout and a mix of bluefish and ladyfish on Clouser flies, DOA Shrimp and DOA Deadly Combos. We had good action on Saturday with top water plugs and fly poppers.

Tarpon action in the coastal gulf should continue when the west wind pattern ends and we switch back to a normal weather pattern of east in the morning and an afternoon sea breeze. Large schools of tarpon have dwindled in size to mostly singles, doubles and small schools. Although there may be fewer fish this time of year, with their spawning completed and a long migration behind them, they are ready to focus on eating.

You may find trout, Spanish mackerel or blues on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay, particularly close to passes. Also look for reds, snook and big trout mixed with mullet schools on shallow flats and edges of bars. Catch and release snook fishing around docks and bridges close to passes or sight fishing for snook in the surf with flies or DOA Lures should also be good options.

Tight Lines,

Capt. Rick Grassett

IFFF Certified Fly Casting Instructor

Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide at CB's Saltwater Outfitters

Orvis Outfitter of the Year-2011

Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. and


(941) 923-7799

Fish Species: tarpon, trout, blues, jack crevalle
Bait Used: Flies and DOA Lures
Tackle Used: fly & spin
Method Used: fly fishing & spin casting lures
Water Depth: 4'-8'
Water Temperature: 88
Wind Direction:
Wind Speed:
Jay Peck, from Rochester, NY, jumps a tarpon on fly tackle in the coastal gulf in Sarasota while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Jay Peck, from Rochester, NY, jumps a tarpon on fly tackle in the coastal gulf in Sarasota while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Kirk Grassett, from Middletown, DE, with a bluefish caught and released on a fly in Sarasota Bay while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.
Kirk Grassett, from Middletown, DE, with a bluefish caught and released on a fly in Sarasota Bay while fishing with Capt. Rick Grassett.

Rick Grassett

About The Author: Captain Rick Grassett

Company: Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc.

Area Reporting: Soutwest Florida

Bio: Capt. Rick Grassett, owner of Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc., is a full time fishing guide and outdoor writer based in Sarasota, FL. He has been guiding since 1990 and is an Orvis Endorsed Outfitter fly fishing guide at CBs Saltwater Outfitters in Sarasota. Specializing in fishing with flies and lures on light spinning tackle, Capt. Rick fishes the bays, back country and coastal gulf waters from Tampa Bay to Charlotte Harbor in his 18 Action Craft flats boat. He is a Federation of Fly Fishers certified fly casting instructor. Destination fishing trips are another specialty of Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service. Capt. Rick has lead groups of fly anglers to remote fishing locations around the world. Crane Meadow Lodge, MT, Los Roques, Venezuela, Andros Island Bonefish Club and Bonefish Bay Club in the Bahamas are several destinations where he has hosted groups in the past. Capt. Rick is a field editor for Saltwater Angler magazine and a monthly columnist for the Tampa Tribune. He has written articles for The Fisherman magazine and Orvis News. In addition to writing for these publications, he has been featured in articles in Florida Sportsman, Sportfishing, The Fisherman and Fly Fishing in Saltwater magazines. Capt. rick's web site, features weekly fishing reports, current photos and and monthly fishing forecasts. He also maintains a second website that is specific to fly fishing and fly casting instruction,

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Rick Grassett